MoB Beginnings…


21 Jun MoB Beginnings…

Mother    “When are you going to start on your dress, Sarah? I’m getting worried.”

Me     “Today. As soon as we finish up at the lampshade store. ”

…..and so after months of procrastination accompanied by some angst, I began the Mother of the Bride dress on Tuesday afternoon.  It’s true, I’ve been putting it off while hoping to achieve the elusive perfect weight, shape, size etc……….. I mean what if I lose an inch in my waist after I make the dress?

In March I asked for your help in finding fabric and a pattern for my Mother of the Bride dress, and I received more kindness than I knew existed.

Several readers suggested I shop at Mendel Goldberg in NYC. I had no trips to NYC planned and the shop does not have an online store. Would you believe that Leisa Stanton from A Challenging Sew put me in touch with Alice, then drove into the city from her Connecticut home, and together with Alice showed me fabrics on Facetime?

IMG_0046 My fabric is a silk matelasse featuring a sporadic metallic pattern.

Upon receiving the small sample of fabric and coordinating trim I decided against the fabric, thinking it was too light and might compete with Katie’s wedding dress.

Two weeks later at the Susan Khalje class in Baltimore I learned Alice would be coming to Baltimore with fabric including the silk matelasse.  When the entire class marveled during the unveiling of the fabric I reconsidered.

IMG_0048 It’s a fabric that is beautifully affected by differing lights.

Once it was mine, I received several comments and lots of advice.

“You need to drape this fabric,” stated Alice upon handing me the fabric.

“Keep it simple. Whatever you do keep it simple.” replied a classmate ……..

and Susan Khalje reminded me to take advantage of the fabric’s great movement.

I became scared all over again questioning the wisdom of my decision to make this dress. Why didn’t I just buy one before I started my 2014 Ready-to-Wear fast?

I started looking for the perfect pattern AGAIN. Then last week a sewing angel arrived at my house.


Through blogging many people have entered my life for which I am grateful. Ten days ago I met a Goodbye Valentino reader from Texas who was visiting a mutual friend in South Carolina. Would you believe we were both wearing the same dress when she arrived at my house?


I took it as a sign 😉

During our visit Cheryl and her friend, Paula looked through all of my patterns and within minutes a decision was made – at least for a muslin.

VOGUE 8766


 I’ve extended the pattern to a floor length a-line skirt and am teetering between a strapless dress or one with spaghetti straps. The finished dress will dictate whether I make a wrap or a short jacket to wear in the church.

…….. and two weeks ago I bought the coordinating trim.


 I’ve started on the muslin and intend to enlist the help of a friend with the fitting.


I also plan to review any pertinent Craftsy class I’ve taken including:

40 Techniques Every Sewer Should Know – Gail Yellen who provides excellent princess seam instruction,

Sew the Perfect Fit Online Sewing Class with Lynda Maynard since I’ve sewn this pattern before,


 the treasured Susan Khalje Online Couture Dress Class from which I learned so much about dressmaking.  Also, Susan has just released the first of a series of couture videos entitled The Cocktail Dress (which comes with a pattern) and I know it will be helpful 🙂

Surely with the help of virtual friends, live friends, virtual classes, live classes, gorgeous fabric and a gym full of weights and treadmills I can make a beautiful dress for this special occasion and wear it well!
Something tells me it’s time to just do it.


Disclosure:  Recently I became a Craftsy affiliate and receive compensation when you purchase classes or join Craftsy. I agreed to  become a Craftsy affiliate after several successful Craftsy experiences. With the exception of Sew the Perfect Fit, I have purchased all Craftsy classes and provide an honest class review and opinion.The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog.
No Comments
  • Aileen Rykiel
    Posted at 13:42h, 21 June Reply

    Hi, I have that pattern from Susan’s class. I will be happy to send it to you if you want it. Spanky, mother of the bride a few times.

    Sent from my iPad

  • Aileen Rykiel
    Posted at 13:44h, 21 June Reply

    I should have mentioned the pattern is the Vogue 8766. Let me know if you want it and I will get it in the mail Monday. Spanky

    Sent from my iPad

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 13:47h, 21 June Reply

      Thank you for the offer, Spanky. I have this pattern and it is what I used to make the muslin 🙂

  • sewgrandma
    Posted at 13:48h, 21 June Reply

    Your last pic of you with the gorgeous silk matelasse brought tears to my eyes. Stunningly Beautiful hardly describes how beautiful you look. Onward. Remember to breathe.

  • Spanky
    Posted at 13:53h, 21 June Reply

    You will look beautiful and the stunning fabric is perfect. Can’t wait to see the wedding pictures. Happy times for all even if it is hectic.

  • sewruth
    Posted at 13:54h, 21 June Reply

    Now , you just know it’s going to be fabulous – with your skill set, your style and that gorgeous fabric – what can go wrong? You’ll be the best dressed at the wedding.

    • Katie Gunn
      Posted at 14:04h, 21 June Reply

      Best dresses after the bride! 😉

  • Alice Elliot
    Posted at 14:02h, 21 June Reply

    That’s the ticket. Just do it!!!! Once begun, the fun starts. Take it slow and steady. It’ll be just beautiful.

  • M.E. White
    Posted at 14:06h, 21 June Reply

    It is going to be ethereal and Just gorgeous. I am sure you will wear the dress not the other way around. Cannot wait to see the finished creation.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:06h, 23 June Reply

      Many thanks – I truly want to love it which is perhaps one reason I’ve been putting it off 😉

  • Laura Casey
    Posted at 14:07h, 21 June Reply

    Oh my….love the fabric and the design….such a simple style (stunning) but oh so careful to make it look fabulous…can hardly wait to see the finished product. Wowie! I’m speechless, well almost ….

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:08h, 23 June Reply

      Hi Laura – Many thanks for your comment. I’ve gone back and forth but I look best in simple garments and plan to let the fabric speak for itself on this one 🙂

  • Almeda
    Posted at 14:15h, 21 June Reply

    Sarah, this dress will be “Cinderella” perfect. Enjoy every minute of the sewing process, the end result will be so very very beautiful. We will all be looking forward to seeing pictures of “the big day”. Your daughters are beautiful, just like their Mom. 🙂

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:09h, 23 June Reply

      What a sweet comment, Almeda 🙂 🙂 🙂 The big day will be here before I know it !

  • ewellons
    Posted at 14:16h, 21 June Reply

    You look pretty fantastic in this wrapped around you like a towel! How much better can it get?? Wish I lived closer and could help out with this amazing project!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 14:29h, 21 June Reply

      I’m driving to your house tomorrow 😉 thanks for all of your help in selecting the fabric!

      • ewellons
        Posted at 19:03h, 21 June Reply

        Come on up! You will be almost as stunning as the bride! Now, the question is, what am I going to wear. After I crash the rehearsal dinner in my pink Valentino, I should certainly crash the wedding! BTW, Susan will be coming with me, bearing an Oriental rug!

  • Carmen Isaacs
    Posted at 14:25h, 21 June Reply

    I hate to be the naysayer but I feel your fabric is too close to bridal.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 14:27h, 21 June Reply

      It’s ok! The fabric has far more hue than is seen in the photograph. I worried about this too for a while.

      • ewellons
        Posted at 19:01h, 21 June Reply

        Having seen the fabric up close and personal, Carmen, it is really not bridal at all. It really changes with the light!

  • Tina Spear
    Posted at 14:51h, 21 June Reply

    Yay! Sarah, I’m glad to see you are getting started. I was considering that dress too for my MOB dress. But alas, 3 months is too short a time to make my dress and flower girls plus hemming bridesmaids and veil and, and, and. Ha Ha. Hey just wanted to let you know my daughter’s veil is almost done & it turned out beautifully. The Craftsy class was extremely helpful! Can’t wait to see how the dress turns out. If I didn’t have my own daughter’s wedding in 4 weeks I would come help you with the fitting. Fitting is my passion. Have fun!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:11h, 23 June Reply

      Ooh, I would love to see a photo of the veil! Who knows Tina, I might still be working on the dress in four weeks! I can’t wait to see your veil 🙂 Congratulations to you!

  • Nancy
    Posted at 15:03h, 21 June Reply

    My goodness girl, you already look fabulous in it with the fabric just draped!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:11h, 23 June Reply

      What’ scary is I hope it doesn’t look better draped than sewn 😉

  • PendleStitches
    Posted at 15:22h, 21 June Reply

    You CAN do this. It will be spectacular and you will look stunning. The fabric is astonishingly beautiful and the perfect colour for you. Have fun!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:12h, 23 June Reply

      Many thanks PendleStitches and so nice to hear from you! Once I held the fabric up to my skin I knew it was just what I was looking for 🙂

  • Nana
    Posted at 16:43h, 21 June Reply

    Absolutely beautiful! You will be a close match to the bride. You will do an excellent job on the dress I am sure.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:13h, 23 June Reply

      Thank you, Nana – but I will hardly be a close match to the bride 😉

  • Linda Berube
    Posted at 18:17h, 21 June Reply

    Fabulous fabric! Can’t wait to see the end result!!!

  • Carolyn
    Posted at 19:24h, 21 June Reply

    I’m sure that you will do just fine and that your MOB dress will be awesome. I have faith in you and your sewing abilities!!!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:15h, 23 June Reply

      I really believe the hardest part is the pattern decision. Hopefully, the sewing will not be agonizing 😉 Many thanks for your comment, Carolyn!

  • Vicki
    Posted at 19:29h, 21 June Reply

    Beautiful fabric! And you already look stunning, no need to lose an inch off your waist.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:16h, 23 June Reply

      Thank you, Vicki! Something about weddings drive people to be perfect – I’ve about given up on losing that inch 😉

  • Dilliander
    Posted at 19:30h, 21 June Reply

    Wow Sarah! Look forward to following along, the style and fabric are perfect together and complements you beautifully… truly stunning 🙂

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:17h, 23 June Reply

      Many thanks, Dilliander! I’m going to give it my best shot 🙂

  • sewdooley
    Posted at 19:47h, 21 June Reply

    The fabric is beautiful and the pattern is one of my favorites. Looking forward to seeing the dress on you. I’m sure you”l have a wonderful time and take some lovely photos.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:17h, 23 June Reply

      Thank you so much, Denise! You’ve made yourself some lovely special occasion clothes 🙂

  • Margaret
    Posted at 20:03h, 21 June Reply

    I love the fabric — it spoke to you, obviously! As far as the wrap, I have a suggestion….McCalls 6845. I was in a wedding recently and re-fashioned my silk dupioni dress with an identical neckline to yours, then made a shrug out of silk devore. In my humble opinion, I thought the lines were really nice, and it will definitely differentiate you from the bride (if you’re worried about that). It was really comfortable to wear and went together easily. Have fun, and enjoy the process of making your MoB dress and wrap — it will be stunning!! 😀

    • Monica
      Posted at 09:57h, 22 June Reply

      I am curious. Which view did you sew? It does look like a very versatile pattern and with air conditioning often set very low, I almost always carry something I can put on if I need too. I usually look like a wannabe prep with a light sweater tied around my shoulders. This would be a LOT better for more formal occasions and to add to make a strapless dress suitable for church. Now, this novice seamstress needs to find out what silk “devore” is. 😀

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:19h, 23 June Reply

      Thank you so much for the pattern recommendation, Margaret! Which view did you make?

      • Margaret
        Posted at 02:59h, 27 June Reply

        I made view D, which is the green shrug shown in the photo on the pattern. Monica, silk devore is also known as burnout silk. The pattern is very quick and easy to put together except for one thing — the bias foldover strip around the perimeter of the shrug. It wants to move all over the place. I found that it worked best by hand basting it to the shrug, then serging the edge, then machine stitching it inside the serged edge.
        It stayed on my shoulders nicely, and I want to make another one!!

  • Wendy
    Posted at 20:54h, 21 June Reply

    It’s going to be beautiful Sarah! Enjoy the ride xx

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:20h, 23 June Reply

      Many thanks, Wendy! The ride certainly has its ups and downs 😉

  • Art Attack
    Posted at 20:58h, 21 June Reply

    Oooh, I cannot wait to see this baby finished!

  • Helen
    Posted at 21:27h, 21 June Reply

    That fabric looks stunning with your colouring. Great choice!

  • cathynd95
    Posted at 22:36h, 21 June Reply

    You have nothing to worry about – I just know what you make will be beautiful and fit like a glove. (PS I literally laughed out loud when I saw the picture of both of you in the same dress! that is priceless, and truly a good sign! )

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:21h, 23 June Reply

      Thanks for the vote of confidence, Cathy! I sent the photo to Marcy Tilton who really got a kick out of it 😉

  • Cheryl T Lemmons
    Posted at 22:38h, 21 June Reply

    Sarah, this post nearly made me cry. I am beyond honored to have been a part of helping you choose a pattern (or at least a preliminary pattern) for this most special dress. The muslin is looking good. Wish I could be there to cheer you on as you make that first cut into that amazing fabric. I’ll be there with you in spirit. You’ve got this!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:22h, 23 June Reply

      Thank you so much for walking in and helping me make a decision, Cheryl! I think I’m going to stick with this pattern 🙂

  • Mary Lynn
    Posted at 00:57h, 22 June Reply

    Not only is the fabric lovely (I wanted to pick it up off the cement when you have it draped around
    you) but the trim is beautiful! Did you find that in SC? Good luck. It already looks like the muslin
    is a good fit and very flattering.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:23h, 23 June Reply

      LOL – believe me I looked around before dropping it on the concrete. The trim also came from Mendel Goldberg. Many thanks for the comment, Mary Lynn!

  • Danielle
    Posted at 02:51h, 22 June Reply

    Sarah, The dress will look stunning, what beautiful material you have.

  • Sandra (Sewist-Stitch)
    Posted at 03:17h, 22 June Reply

    Sarah your fabric is just beautiful and I have every confidence that your dress will be fabulous, I can’t wait to see. The trim is perfect and adds the perfect touch. Sending the sewing faries your way 🙂

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:25h, 23 June Reply

      Oooh…. I need this vote of confidence, Sandra! Many thanks 🙂

  • patsdesign
    Posted at 08:26h, 22 June Reply

    Hi Sarah: I am new to leave a comment, but I have been following you for quite sometime. I love you teaching and showing us all that you have; and I look forward to see the process of this fabulous fabric and pattern. I too am sending sewing faries your way…

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:28h, 23 June Reply

      Pat – Many thanks for your nice comment! I believe I show more than I teach, but I do love sharing my renewed passion 🙂

  • Jean
    Posted at 08:32h, 22 June Reply

    Thanks for sharing your sewing plans. I think you are onto a winner with this one. Can’t wait to see the finished garment.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 18:19h, 24 June Reply

      You and me both, Jean! Many thanks for your comment 🙂

  • The Renegade Seamstress
    Posted at 08:42h, 22 June Reply

    Looking forward to the finished dress which I know will be lovely! It’s been so fun to be a part of your sewing journey, thanks for taking us along for the ride.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 18:21h, 24 June Reply

      …and thanks for hopping on the train, Beth! You’re journey is pretty exciting these days 🙂

  • Monica
    Posted at 10:01h, 22 June Reply

    Can’t wait to see this one completed. The fabric is perfect I think. You are going to Livestream this wedding for your GB followers aren’t you? 😀

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 18:23h, 24 June Reply

      Yes, of course! I’ll also have my bluetooth on in case you see a loose thread or sagging hem 😉

  • Linda (phila burbs)
    Posted at 19:00h, 22 June Reply

    This is gonna be absolutely gorgeous. Can’t wait to see it finished!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 18:23h, 24 June Reply

      Many thanks, Linda! My friend came over and fitted the muslin today 🙂

  • maryfunt
    Posted at 21:10h, 22 June Reply

    Love the fabric and you will look fabulous. I think it is very appropriate for the MOB dress. Be sure to take loads of photos as you sew. We are all looking forward to watching this come to life.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 18:24h, 24 June Reply

      Thanks for the reminder, Mary. I’ll have the camera fully charged at all times!

  • Fifty Dresses
    Posted at 22:06h, 22 June Reply

    Sending you lots of sewing good fortune across the miles. It will be beautiful, Sarah, and perfect for you as all your creations are (and I must say I’m quite relieved to hear you are getting started on it)!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 18:25h, 24 June Reply

      LOL! My friend came over and fitted me today. She talked me out of a tiered skirt. The fabric drapes sooooo beautifully that I’m going to extend the sweep of the skirt 🙂 Many thanks for your comment, Karen!

  • puu
    Posted at 10:15h, 23 June Reply

    i am not at all surprised that leisa drove in from CT to show you fabrics – she is a lovely person and takes that sort of challenge very seriously. glad you made a choice you are excited about!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 18:27h, 24 June Reply

      Thank you for your comment, Puu 🙂 Leisa is not only lovely but incredibly gifted. I’ve loved getting to know her.

  • Alex in California
    Posted at 12:57h, 23 June Reply

    The fabric is certainly worthy of you. You will be glorious. I am wondering if the coordinating trim is photographing a little bit Christmas snowflake? I look forward to you blogging the progress of this special dress.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 18:28h, 24 June Reply

      Hi Alex! There is no snowflake in the trim but there is a starburst! 🙂 🙂

  • Ji
    Posted at 14:37h, 23 June Reply

    I love the same dress photo. That is too funny. I have no doubt that you’ll make a special lovely dress out of the beautiful fabric.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 18:28h, 24 June Reply

      LOL! We gave each other this funny look when I opened the door! I am so grateful for her help 🙂

  • Kathy
    Posted at 17:44h, 23 June Reply

    I been following your sewing experience for a couple years now and have really enjoyed it. For the past 3 months I have been worrying and obsessing about my own MOB challenge (wedding the middle of September). Today I spent half the day pinning all manner of lace dresses appropriate to my age(60) and the event.
    Your fabric is absolutely stunning. A simple, well fitted sheath with a beautiful belt and you will look fabulous.
    Can’t wait to see your progress.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 18:30h, 24 June Reply

      Thank you, Kathy! Good luck with your MOB dress. I have a friend who made two MOB dresses for each of her daughters’ weddings and deb balls! One is all I can handle so it better turn out 😉

  • Sharon
    Posted at 00:02h, 25 June Reply

    Ow wow your fabric is gorgeous and the trim is divine. Can’t wait to see the final gown!

  • Lexley- Brisbane AU
    Posted at 05:28h, 27 June Reply

    Sarah, This fabric is absolutely SUBLIME! And the trim was made for this fabric! Outstanding! Apart from your beautiful daughter, you will be the most stunning one there! Do you think you will bone the bodice? I was thinking that a simple short Chanel style jacket without buttons in a solid gold tone would complement this? I know whatever you choose it will be absolutely perfect. All the very best to you and your beautiful family on this very special occasion. Can’t wait for the updates.
    Luv Lexleyx

  • Julie Starr
    Posted at 08:07h, 28 June Reply

    Sarah, I do believe you look like an Oscar statuette in that last photo! I had no doubt that you would find the perfect fabric and I suspected it might be metallic but this is sublime. I loved reading how these women gererously offered their time, assistance and expertise and agree that we are lucky to be a part of the on line sewing community. I’m looking so forward to watching the creation of your MOB dress and hearing about this exciting time in your family’s lives.

  • AJW
    Posted at 08:04h, 30 June Reply

    The fabric is exquisite. So looking forward to your sewing adventure and you sharing all the details with us. Good luck!

  • Karen
    Posted at 07:27h, 05 July Reply

    In the end, I think you will be happy with your decision to make your dress. My daughter got married 2 weeks ago and I debated whether I wanted to tackle making my dress. I was overwhelmed with other wedding details and ended up buying an overpriced gown that was not a good design for my shape. Bad decision on my part and one I regret every time I look at the pictures from that day. I’m sure your dress will be stunning and fitted to perfection. Keep inspiring us with your projects!

Post A Comment